Villa Noailles Design Parade 2022
The international festival of design in Hyères and Toulon.
Design Parade Toulon
6th International festival of interior design 23rd-26th June, 2022
Exhibitions open from 24th June-30th October, 2022
Design Parade Hyères
16th International festival of design 24th-26th June, 2022
Exhibitions open from 25th June-4th September, 2022
THIS WEEKEND, THE Villa Noailles in Hyères, in the South of France, hosts the renowned Design Parade Hyères, a celebration of contemporary design – this year in its 16th iteration. In near-by Toulon, the Design Parade Toulon will launch, in parallel, its 6th international festival of interior design. These two festivals and their related exhibitions, running all through the summer, remind visitors that the South of France is not just about sun and sea, but also about creativity, joyfully expressed.
The international festival of design was founded in 2006 by Jean-Pierre Blanc, a former award-winning film director and screenwriter, and director of the modernist Villa Noailles (now an arts centre). Twenty years earlier, in 1986, he had established the now-famous annual International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, his birthplace, promoting young creatives in fashion, photography and fashion accessories. The Design Parade was launched to inspire and encourage young designers by organising a competition, with ten finalists exhibiting their work in the iconic villa.
Ten years later, Blanc created a partner enterprise, Design Parade Toulon, an international festival of interior design, rewarding ten finalists in a parallel competition for interior design. By 2019, these events had gained such attention that the Centre Pompidou in Paris agreed to loan works from the national collection of design to an annual exhibition at the Hôtel des Arts in Toulon. This year, the third edition is titled, ‘Intérieurs Modernes, 1920-1930’ and includes work by pioneering luminaries, such as Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and Pierre Chareau.
As Hyères has become a critical node for contemporary design, so other local institutions have responded. In 2018, the Fondation Carmignac, founded in 2000 by Edouard Carmignac, a French entrepreneur, opened the Villa Carmignac on the island of Porquerolles. This 2,000m2 art space, in the midst of a carefully maintained section of national park, is open to the public, offering an annual art exhibition.
This year, the themed exhibition is ‘The Dream of Ulysses’, which has been overseen by Francesco Stocchi, the curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. As well as drawing upon Carmignac’s significant collection of over 300 modern and contemporary artworks, the exhibition also contains national and international loans.
For the past two years the Fondation Carmignac has been a regular collaborator with the Villa Noailles, commissioning designers exhibited at the Design Parade to create furniture for the location.
In 2020, the artist Benoît Maire designed 200 deck chairs for the foundation; this year six outdoor nap beds are to be unveiled. Inspired by triangular fruit ladders used in local olive groves, the beds are designed by Edgar Jayet, winner of the 2021 Grand Prix Design Parade Toulon Van Cleef & Arpels.
In a new gesture, this year, the Fondation Carmignac is offering a prize to one of the winners of the object design or interior architecture competition. The winner, chosen in consultation with both juries and the foundation, will be announced this weekend. Part of the prize is a residency at the Villa Carmignac, amidst its wildflowers, vineyards and olive groves, leading to the creation of an object, or interior design project, inspired by the philosophy of the place.
As the festivities get underway, visitors will be reminded of the inspired patronage of Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, who used the Villa Noailles (built between 1923 and 1927), as a stage for experimental artistic encounters and exchanges. Visionary in their understanding of the multi-faceted nature of modernity, they drew into their exuberant circle artists, writers, philosophers, photographers, architects and designers. The house itself is a pioneering modernist house commissioned from the young Robert Mallet-Stevens, which they then filled with a montage of furnishings by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Jean-Michel Frank, Charlotte Perriand and Francis Jourdain. Although most of the furniture is no longer here, the spirit of the avant-garde lives on.